Along with many cities across the country, Greeley is home of the Turkey Trot fun run Thanksgiving morning. These fun runs are becoming Thanksgiving Day staples to thousands of people across the country. They are the perfect race for beginners because they are focused on fun and camaraderie and the money raised benefits charities from food banks to hospitals. So, you’ve decided you want to try one! Where do you start training for a 5k and how do you prepare for race day?
If you choose to walk a 5k, it’s a great way to get fit. If you aren’t used to walking distances, start with short walks and gradually increase your walking time and mileage until you are at your 3 mile goal.
Start a Training Plan
Whether you are active but not a runner or a couch potato, there are many ways to train to run your first 5K. You can find formal training plans online like The Couch to 5K®, or NoCo Fitness can help develop a plan for your goals and lifestyle. This plan is a combination of walking and running. Many people train without a formal plan by starting with a 10 minute warm-up walk, followed by 10 minutes of alternating jogging/walking, followed by a 10 minute cool down walk. As you progress, you slowly extend the time you run and decrease the time you walk until able to run the entire 30 minutes. . The whole point to any training plan is to start slowly by walking, progressing to jogging, and then running.
Race Day – Your Training Pays Off
So, whether you are walking or running, the big day is here. You’re at the starting line…You can feel it. The buzz in the air. Is it the holiday? Is it the cold? You’re not sure but everyone is laughing and talking, jumping around, and trying to stay warm. People are in costumes, you hear the announcers calling the runners up to the starting line. The crowd starts pushing forward, and suddenly its time. The runners start first followed by the walkers five minutes later.
It’s your turn, you cross the timing mechanism and you’re on your way. The first mile is fun, you’re there, and the excitement is still with you. You are in your groove during the second mile and your body is working. By the third mile, you’re tired because you find yourself moving faster than you did during training. Don’t worry, it happens in races. Your adrenaline is pumping! Suddenly, there it is! The finish line! It’s everything you have been training for. Your body starts speeding up, you can’t control it, you’re tired, your lungs hurt, but you can’t help it. You cross the finish line. Success! You finished your first 5k!